Mt Whitney Zone
Posted By: Bob_in_Pasadena Whitney Summit Register Archive? - 09/22/13 01:02 AM
Everyone who climbs Mt. Whitney probably signs the Summit Register to commemorate their accomplishment. Me too, I've done it four times in the last five years: Twice as an overnight from Whitney Portal, once as the final day of week-long trek from the west approach, and the most recent as a day-hike at age 68.

So what actually happens to those Summit Register pages that we all love to sign? I've heard some people say they go into the National Archive, but I've searched their website and not found it.

I've also Google'd it several ways -- still nothing.

For something as important as recording the individual achievements of thousands of people over the decades, you'd think it would be publicly accessible.

Anyone know?
Posted By: + @ti2d Re: Whitney Summit Register Archive? - 09/23/13 07:43 PM
They are sent to Stanford University...
Posted By: Steve C Re: Whitney Summit Register Archive? - 09/23/13 11:24 PM
This question comes up frequently, so I thought I'd try to track down some info. I found the following:

From Surrogate register signers, 7-17-2008:
Originally Posted By: Jim F
The Mt Whitney summit registers from 1883 to 1941 are at Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley. They are part of a collection titled Sierra Club Mountain Registers and Records 1860-2005 (Collection number BANC MSS 71/293c). The collection consists of 23 cartons and is nearly 30 feet long. For many peaks there is remarkably complete coverage. Besides the Sierra Peaks, there are a few others in there of interest also, such as Mt Shasta 1924 to 2005.

As for Mt Whitney 1942-present, I have a call out to the Sequoia Kings Canyon rangers and a fellow in the Sierra Club Sierra Peaks Section who is keeping tab on the registers. I will post any further information.

And this on 7-31-2008, from Mt Whitney Summit Register
Originally Posted By: Jim F
On 7/11/2008 kurt23hrs started a topic Surrogate Register Signers which generated considerable discussion. On 7/17 Kurt asked, "What happens to the register books when they are full, where are they stored?" I subsequently responded that the 1883-1941 summit registers have been preserved as part of a collection at UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library titled "Sierra Club Mountain Registers and Records 1860-2005."

The natural question then followed, "What about the registers since 1941? What will be the fate of the 2008 register currently on the summit?" The Wilderness Office of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park directed me to Park Curator Ward Eldridge. After a long week at work, I finally gave Mr Eldridge a call and he promptly and kindly answered my questions. All the Mt Whitney registers since 1979 are stored in the Park Archives at the Park Administative Offices in Three Rivers. The official US Government register paper is supplied and removed from the summit register by the Crabtree ranger. The stack of signed sheets for a year (containing thousands of signatures) typically stands one and a half inches high, Mr Eldrige notes. Thus, it does not present a storage problem. The existence/location of Mt Whitney registers for 1942-1978 remains an unsolved problem. No other summit registers are kept by the Park.

Periodically, summit registers from other Sierra Peaks make their way to the collection at the Bancroft Library. To learn of an effort to care for summit registers on the other big peaks in the Range of Light, one is referred to Harry Langenbacher's Sierra Peaks Summit Register page (


An addendum here, posted 7-14-2012:
Originally Posted By: Jim F
For most of the year (ie non-summer months) the Crabtree Ranger is not on duty. Sometimes others place a notebook to be used when the official government register is absent. As I recall from my visits to the summit this year prior to June, a notebook placed by Richard P had faithfully served as a summit register from December through June. His notebook was absent when I was on the Summit June 16 and I placed my own notebook (which I later noticed in summit photos posted by others). Earlier this week (July 9) I was on the summit and observed that the Crabtree ranger had finally placed the official log. When I talked to him four years ago, Mr Eldrige said that these "unofficial" registers were appreciated and also would be placed in the Park Archives.

Also, and unrelated but interesting archived maps link, posted by Ken on 09-03-2009:
Originally Posted By: Ken
I believe that I've seen that they are kept in the Sequoia NP headquarters. Whether they are accessible, I don't know.

The Bancroft library is where the Sierra Club summit registers are kept. taking a look there, I ran across this unrelated gem:
Posted By: Krishna Re: Whitney Summit Register Archive? - 10/18/13 02:43 AM
Is there any intent to keep them on line so that we can search these registers and check out the times when we are on summit. If I am already loosing my count, how about Jack and Betsy?

On the other hand, I can check all my visits to Phantom Ranch by sitting in the cafeteria and checking those old books. Its interesting to see books from 1930s and wonder at their clean calligraphic comments.
Posted By: Krishna Re: Whitney Summit Register Archive? - 01/15/15 03:29 PM
Is there one?
Posted By: Steve C Re: Whitney Summit Register Archive? - 01/16/15 07:19 AM
Krishna, the above information is all we have. I am certain there is no online copy of the registers.

Keeping track is up to the hiker. I know of several hikers who keep log books of where and when they climbed, and even who they climbed with.
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